1936 Cord 810 Cabriolet
Sold For $159,500Inclusive of applicable buyer's fee.
- A treasured example of the famous “Sportsman”
- Offered from 44 years of enthusiast ownership
- Well-known among West Coast ACD circles
- Original serial number tag
The debut of the “New Cord” at the November 1935 New York Auto Show is the stuff of legend. Surviving photographs record the joyful madness of crowds piling several people deep, with some onlookers reportedly standing on the roofs of other cars, just to catch a glimpse. In an industry where “totally new” is a worn-out catchphrase, the Cord 810 really was. It was designed by Gordon Buehrig and boasted such previously unheard-of advancements as unitary construction, a “step-down” floor, hidden door hinges, a total lack of running boards, and a “coffin nose” without the traditional upright radiator. Underneath, front-wheel drive returned, with the driver shifting a four-speed transmission by pressing a European-style pre-selector switch on the steering column.
Cord ads sang the praises of the new car’s power and handling prowess, as well as its graceful beauty. Buyers responded in droves, but it was all for naught, as production delays and the Depression doomed the Cord after only two short years. Of the four original body styles, the most treasured and sought-after is the two-passenger cabriolet, known to many enthusiasts as the “Sportsman.”
The Cabriolet offered here was acquired in 1971 by its present owner, an Auburn Cord Duesenberg Club member of several decades, and it held the honor of being his first antique car. The car was found behind an old gas station in North Portland, and it was restored over a period of several years with the assistance of several Cord specialists in the Pacific Northwest, including, most prominently, the late Wayne Weihermiller, who was known for his particular skill with the Cord’s notoriously finicky transmission. Mr. Weihermiller rebuilt this transmission, along with the car’s instrumentation, to a high standard. In addition, the car was fitted with the improved front axle U-joints that were developed by LeeRoy Richardson, allowing it to be comfortably and reliably driven for long distances. The Richardson conversion is accepted by Cord enthusiasts as a welcome improvement upon a weak point of the original design and as a desirable feature.
The car’s authentic details throughout are excellent, particularly given the age of the restoration, and include an original bronze windshield frame, which is highly preferable to later re-castings; a correct accessory ashtray; and a rebuilt original radio. While the original engine, FB 1742, was changed out for another years ago, the original serial number tag remains on the car; importantly, as a correct 810 engine was installed, this does not affect the car should its owner choose to submit it for ACD Club certification. The car is listed as an authentic cabriolet in both of Josh B. Malks’ standard references on the model, Cord Complete and The Timeless Classic.
The owner notes that the car still shifts well after all these years, particularly after some recent sorting, and that it still drives well, having completed a 150-mile tour last year. This car has only been shown at a few local events and concours over the years, making it an ideal ACD Club or CCCA tour car, as it continues to demonstrate the best of modern design and engineering. It comes here from a good home.
125 bhp, 288 cu. in. L-head V-8 engine, four-speed pre-selector manual transmission, independent front suspension, rear semi-elliptic suspension with leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic brakes. Wheelbase: 125 in.